U.S. lifts restriction on visas to HIV-positive foreigners – Washington (CNN)

January 6th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Foreign nationals who are HIV-positive will find it easier starting Monday to visit the United States. (more…)

Foreign nationals who are HIV-positive will find it easier starting Monday to visit the United States.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed HIV infection from the list of diseases that prevent non-U.S. citizens from entering the country.

HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus — the virus that causes AIDS.

Advocates for HIV-positive people said the new policy was long overdue, calling it “a significant step forward for the United States.”

“The end of the HIV travel and immigration ban is the beginning of a new life for countless families and thousands who had been separated because of this policy,” said Steve Ralls, spokesman for Immigration Equality, a national rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive individuals. “This is a new beginning for them.”

The final rule was approved in November and went into effect Monday.

The new regulation takes HIV infection out of the category of “communicable diseases of public health significance,” the CDC said. It also removes required testing for HIV infection from the U.S. immigration medical screening process and eliminates the need for a waiver for entry into the United States.

U.S. laws and regulations enacted since 1952 have made persons “who were afflicted with any dangerous contagious disease” ineligible to receive a visa to enter the country. People infected with HIV have been restricted since 1987, when Congress directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to add HIV to its list of diseases of public health significance.

The United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, which President Bush signed on July 30, 2008, removed the statutory requirement that mandated the inclusion of HIV on the list of diseases of public health significance that barred entry in the United States.

The legislation did not, however, automatically change the existing regulations, administered by HHS, that continued to list HIV as a “communicable disease of public-health significance” and required the more cumbersome visa process.

The United States was one of 13 countries that restricted entry of HIV-positive visitors, according to amfAR, an AIDS research foundation.

  1. GONDEREW
    | #1

    The lifting of Visa restriction by the U.S government is one of the most admirable humanitarian gesture. This was possible because of Obama’s attitude towards the victimized nations of the world, particularly African countries. Several weeks ago an opinion was intertained about Obama’s award of Nobel price. That time, I remember, I put a comment claiming that Obama’s award was premature but characterized the award as a down payment for his future performance. I think, he is paying his scheduled payment promptly until he pay off all the balance. So far so good but he was silent in helping the Ethiopian people to get rid of Melese Zenawi and his cronies.

  2. god keep ethiopia
    | #2

    HIV descever in america, then right after distribut the other world,and america closed the door for the victm of the disesse. now the door is open. what is going on in this damy world?

  3. ayub
    | #3

    Gonderew,with all respect you mentioned Obama “was silent in helping the Ethiopian people to get rid of Meles…” i think you are forgetting that there is a party system operating in Ethiopia and Meles is not a President but a Prime Minister elected and supported by his Party and accountable primarily to his Party as well as to the Nation.

  4. Kalbe-solo
    | #4

    THank you very much President Obama, with your good administration, I am able to visit my family in USA , IF YOU WERE NOT ELECTED , PROBABLY I WILL NEVER VISIT MY NIECES NEPHEWS AND OTHER FAMILYS.I KNOW YOU ARE BLESSED, ONCE AGAIN I WOULD LIKE TO SAY ‘MAY GOD BLESS YOU RICHLY’. MR PRESIDENT I am always your admirer, here you go , you deserve more more than NOBLE PRICE I HOPE WITH YOUR WE WILL SEE GOOD ADMINISTRATION(GOVERNMENT) IN AFRICA, PRATICULARLY IN EAST AFRICA

  5. ETHIOPIAN JEW
    | #5

    TO AYUB:

    I must guess that you are supporter of TPLF and the man who preside over, namely Mezez Satnawi. Nothing is wrong to belong to the party of your choice but to the magority Ethiopians, Meles is is NO. 1 criminal of the century who allow Eriteria to seceed without referendum by all Ethiopian people. Further more, he is unscruplous back door politician who can do anything to stay in power including partitioning the entire borderlands from north to south and gave to Sudan as well as selling Oromos’ land for foreign investors. There is no accountability in Satnawi’ dictionary and this, is like his grand father Ato Asres, he is disloyal to ethiopian PEOPLE. Do you know About his grand father’s history?. He was one of the Ethiopian patriots during the battle of Adwa. He become BANDA FOR THE ITALIAN and fought back his people, the Ethiopian. After the defeat of the Italians, Ras Alula asked Emperor Minilik to put him to death but Emperor Minilik pardoned him.

    Ayub, therefore, before you attempt to lecture me who is a prime minister or the president, it is much better to you to learn about the person (Meles) and his party (TPLF) whether their professional conduct (if they have one) was in strict accountability, which is not.

  6. GONDEREW
    | #6

    TO AYUB:

    Few correction: My former pen name Gonderew was changed to Ethiopian Jew and dont be confused that I am he (Gonderew) who send the comment above. Secondly there is spelling mistake such as “Magority” instead of Majority. You may also find double words such as “is is” and may be some other errors but you need to ignore such typing errore.

  7. Ayub
    | #7

    To Ethiopian Jew,
    I am disappointed with your rather rude replay and it will be pointless giving you a chance to throw abuse at me.And another point, you seem to be one of those sad people who wants to pick a fight when there is no one to fight with.

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